Nicastro’s dream of being class valedictorian becomes reality

Deptford graduate to study chemical engineering at Villanova

During her speech, Class Valedictorian and treasurer Sofia Nicastro thanks the faculty and staff for their continued support and dedication. JAMES JACKSON/THE Sun

Over the past year, Deptford High School senior Sofia Nicastro wasn’t sure about certain things, like which college she would attend or how to navigate life through COVID. 

Through it all, she has been certain about one thing: becoming class valedictorian. 

“During freshman year, I was number one in my class after the first semester. So once I was number one, I made it my goal,” Nicastro recalled of becoming valedictorian. 

After her parents decided they no longer wanted to live in Philadelphia, Nicastro, then 5, and her younger brother relocated to Deptford. Her mother and father investigated a number of suburbs before settling on Deptford. 

“We literally have no family in Jersey, but they just knew that this school district would be good,” Nicastro said. 

When she isn’t studying, Nicastro watches sports with her family and friends and crochets, something she learned from her grandmother. During her time as a Deptford High student, she has also participated in multiple clubs. 

“I did Culture Club, Renaissance Club, Science Club and Project Graduation,” Nicastro said. She also was the Class of 2021’s treasurer and ran track. 

Asked what she’ll miss the most about high school, Nicastro mentioned her tight knit group of friends.

“I’m going to miss my little engineering friend group the most, because we honestly had so much fun together,” she explained.

Despite enjoying her 13 years at Deptford, Nicastro admitted it wasn’t always easy. Once COVID reared its ugly head, she found that life had some uncertainties.

“We just had to overcome all this constant change over the past 15 months of not knowing what we are going to be doing for school, not knowing if we’re going to have this event or that event,” she noted  “It all worked out in the end, because we got prom and graduation in person.”

Nicastro has received a $500 Shirley Ann Fletcher Memorial Scholarship, given to a student who majors in chemistry or a related science, and another $500 for the Class of 1973 Memorial Scholarship, an award for a graduate furthering his or her education in college or in trade school.